107 tigers sighted during waterhole census in Vid

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 12 May 2017 10:31:01

By Ramesh Marulkar

Volunteers participating in the waterhole census registered sightings of 107 tigers, including eight cubs, and 60 leopards plus a number of herbivores in four tiger reserves in Vidrbha.

The enumerators started the exercise by sitting on specially-erected machaans near waterholes on Wednesday morning for 24 hours. They recorded the number of wild animals seen during the exercise that came to an end around 11 am on Thursday.

The highest number of tigers sighted was in Pench Tiger Reserve and under its control Bor Tiger Reserve, Umrer-Karhandla and Tipeshwar Wildlife Sanctuaries - 49. As many as 36 tigers were recorded in Pench Tiger Reserve alone. The enumerators registered 14 leopards during the exercise.

Rushikesh Ranjan, Field Director, Pench, informed that as many as 357 machaans (wooden structures) were erected at the abovesaid parks for the purpose.

Buffer zone of Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve (TATR) recorded sightings of 27 tigers, including four cubs, nine leopards, 376 bisons, 78 sloth-bears and others. G P Narwane, Deputy Director, TATR, Buffer zone, said that the authorities erected 109 wooden structures at the waterholes while 343 volunteers and forestmen took part in the census work.

As for core area of TATR, the work of compilation was not completed in view of the disturbed situation after a tiger killing Fire Watchers Mangaldas Choudhari in Tadoba Forest Range in the morning. However, it came to know that the enumerators sighted five tigers, including two cubs, in Moharli Forest Range while the
figures were not available for Tadoba and Kolsa ranges till filing of report.

Melghat ended up with sightings of 20 tigers, 37 leopards, six honey budgers, 18 chausinga, 106 sloth-bears, 205 bisons, 277 peacocks and others, informed M S Reddy, CCF and Field Director, Melghat Tiger Reserve. He said that 13 leopards and 39 sloth-bears were seen during the exercise in Katepura and Dnyanganga Wildlife Sanctuaries.

The authorities erected over 375 wooden structures for the purpose in the tiger reserve and wildlife sanctuaries.
The exercise was held at Navegaon-Nagzira Tiger Reserve in Gondia but the figures were not available.

Ravikiran Gowekar, Field Director of the tiger reserve, said that there was good sighting of tigers in Koka Wildlife Sanctuary, a portion of the reserve. He said that under phase IV tiger estimation, the officials installed 600 camera traps in block I and then shifted them to block II from January to March, 2017.

This is a scientific method to know the number of tigers in a park. The work of analysis is in progress and the result would come out after two weeks. Last year, under similar programme, seven tigers were captured in the camera traps.

The full picture of the census figures will come out shortly once compilation work is finished.